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Case Name Rooks & U.S. v. Herring JC-AL-0007
Docket / Court 1:92-cv-00316-M ( S.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Southern Center for Human Rights
Case Summary
On April 23, 1992, inmates at the Conecuh County Jail ("Jail") in Evergreen, Alabama filed a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Alabama Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

The plaintiffs, represented by ... read more >
On April 23, 1992, inmates at the Conecuh County Jail ("Jail") in Evergreen, Alabama filed a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Alabama Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from the Southern Center For Human Rights, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as damages for the alleged inhumane conditions of confinement they were subjected to at the Jail. The case was certified by the Court as a class action and, subsequently, the United States intervened pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1997 et seg.

After extensive discovery and several settlement conferences, the parties arrived at a settlement. On September 27, 1994, the proposed Consent Order setting forth the settlement agreement was preliminarily approved. After a hearing, the District Court (Magistrate Judge Bert W. Milling, Jr.) overruled objections to the settlement and approved and entered the Consent Order on January 24, 1995. The Consent Order resolved the class action claims, the individual inmate claims, and the claims of the United States. It called for a renovation of the Jail and substantive reforms in various policies and procedures which governed its operation.

Following the entry of the Consent Order, the defendants provided progress reports to the District Court detailing the status of implementing the specified reforms.

On July 11, 1996, counsel for all parties filed a joint motion to dismiss, stating that the defendants had substantially complied the terms of the Consent Order. The District Court granted the motion on July 24, 2006 and dismissed the case, retaining jurisdiction over the payment of attorneys' fees.

Subsequent to the dismissal order, plaintiffs filed a motion for relief from the judgment and a motion to Show Cause. On March 7, 1997, the District Court entered a stay order in the case and further ordered the defendants to submit monthly reports to counsel for plaintiffs, covering agreed upon topics which included the jail's population.

Thereafter, defendants filed a motion to terminate Consent Order pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act. For reasons that are not clear from the PACER docket, on 10/05/1998, the Court entered an order denying plaintiffs' motion for relief from the Order and denied as moot all other pending motions. We have no further information on the proceedings in this case.

Dan Dalton - 02/07/2007

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Crowding / caseload
Race discrimination
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Bathing and hygiene
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Fire safety
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Grievance Procedures
Religious programs / policies
Sanitation / living conditions
Search policies
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Suicide prevention
Type of Facility
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Alabama Department of Corrections
Conecuh County Jail
Plaintiff Description All persons who are now, have previously or in the future will be incarcerated at the Conecuh County Jail.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Southern Center for Human Rights
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1992 - 1998
Filing Year 1992
Case Closing Year 1998
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Date: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice Faculty)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

92-0316AH-M (S.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/05/1998
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint & Amended Complaint
JC-AL-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/30/1992
Report and Recommendation (1993 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 17794) (S.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0007-0008.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/10/1992
Source: LexisNexis
JC-AL-0007-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/06/1993
Findings letter re: Intention to Intervene in Rooks v. Thigpen (Rooks v. Herring)
JC-AL-0007-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/30/1993
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Order and Judgment (1993 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 17683) (S.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0007-0009.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/10/1993
Source: LexisNexis
Consent Order (S.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0007-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/27/1994
Order (S.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0007-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/24/1995
Joint Motion to Dismiss
JC-AL-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/11/1996
Order (S.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0007-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/24/1996
Judges Milling, Bert W. Jr. (S.D. Ala.)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-0005 | JC-AL-0007-0006 | JC-AL-0007-0008 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Vollmer, Richard W. Jr. (S.D. Ala.)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barrick, Andrew J. (District of Columbia)
Brewster, Henry (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0001 | JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-0007 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Masling, Mark S. (District of Columbia)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Ortega, Nancy E. (Georgia)
JC-AL-0007-0001 | JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-0007 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-0004
Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)
Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)
Schoen, Benjamin P. (District of Columbia)
Seidel, Eugene A. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-0004 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)
JC-AL-0007-0002 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Vulevich, Edward J. Jr. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-0004
Defendant's Lawyers Alford, Helen Johnson (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Harden, Paul M. Jr. (Alabama)
Leonard, Ellen Ruth (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Lyles, Harry A. (Alabama)
Redd, Andrew Weldon (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0003 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Stevens, Frederick H. (Alabama)
JC-AL-0007-0004 | JC-AL-0007-9000
Wasden, H. William (Alabama)

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